US Navy experiments with drone to hunt submarines

Anti-submarine warfare is one of the most complex disciplines of modern warfare. Facing the immensity of the ocean in 3 dimensions, submarines, frigates, destroyers, helicopters and maritime patrol planes engage in a game of cat and mouse, where the first to see the other wins, and the other dies. Maritime patrol planes have profoundly changed this war since their appearance during World War II, bringing the threat beyond the detection perimeter of escort ships, coordinating with the latter to track down and destroy the adversary.

At that time, submarine hunting from an aircraft was mostly done on sight, with operators looking to detect a surface submarine, a snorkel or a periscope, or the characteristic shadow of these ships when 'they evolve at shallow depth. Quickly, the arrival of on-board radars made it possible to increase their efficiency in detecting elements emerging from a submarine, at a time when the autonomy of submersibles in diving was limited to a few hours on batteries. With the progress made in batteries, as well as the arrival of nuclear propulsion systems, planes had to acquire other tools, such as MAD tails, a magnetic anomaly detector that reacts to disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field. of a metallic mass, and therefore capable of precisely locating a submarine while diving, as long as the aircraft passes sufficiently close to it.

A P2 Neptune from the French Naval Aeronautics. This plane was emblematic of the Cold War, and was replaced by the Bréguet Atlantic in the French Navy.

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